As winter fades and spring shows up, the days get longer and homeowners start thinking about spending more time outside, and upgrading their own outdoor spaces. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to find a qualified landscaper to help with improvements. Heck, it can even be difficult to get a call back, which is very frustrating. . In fact, it can feel like landscape contractors don’t put a value on being accountable, or don’t care enough to talk about your project. The truth is, most established businesses in the landscaping industry see a large increase in service requests in late spring. The uptick in inquiries can be overwhelming.
We believe your outdoor spaces are important. You should be as proud of the areas around your home as you are of everything inside it. No one should feel anxious about the landscaping as the rainy season comes to an end, and rushing to find a landscape firm right before summer can be a real headache.
Believe it or not, we sometimes feel the same way when vendors don’t get back to us right away! And, admittedly, we have had past issues getting back to people who reach out looking for help with their projects. Over the years, we have learned to manage expectations honestly as the foundation for a successful design and installation of a project. Based on all that we have learned, we have some ideas to help you find the right firm to move your project forward.
Time It Right
In reality, late spring is not the best time of year to start a plan for short term completion. And the current building boom in Seattle has only increased the demand for building and landscaping services. While we certainly understand the desire to enjoy the improvements in the coming summer, rushing in can have consequences. You might end up with a firm that may not be the best fit, just to get on the schedule. Landscaping projects are major purchases, and deserve a deliberate planning process.
A majority of our clients tell us that they have been thinking about making improvements to their outdoor spaces for anywhere from two to five years before reaching out to us. For the long-term planners who are flexible on a start date, reaching out now to the landscape firm of your choice can help them plan beyond the summer. They will love you for it.
In fact, fall and winter can be favorable times for installing a project. Schedules are not as busy and most plants, especially trees, are more suited for transplanting outside of the summer heat. For a summer installation, you should be reaching out in mid-winter at the latest.
Starting early is especially important for projects that lie within an ECA or include design features that require a permit. With Seattle’s current building boom, the permitting process has become lengthy in many cases. But let’s be honest, planning early is good for every project. Give your future self a hand and start the process of transforming your outdoor space sooner rather than later.
Know Your Budget and Have Ideas
We always ask prospective clients what their budget is. It helps us in the design process to meet expectations. Hopefully, it also helps the clients think about what kind of resources they want to put into their project if they haven’t already. Before you contact your contractor, try to have a budget in mind. It will help the firm you go with put together a realistic design for your project.
Even more helpful than a budget are ideas about what you like (or don’t like) when it comes to landscape design. There are great resources online to help you put together collections of photos. We really like it when we get to look at our design clients’ idea boards on sites like Houzz or Pinterest. Doing just a little homework to find the looks you love will go a long way toward helping your designer put together a plan you will love.
We Go Year ‘Round
We are fortunate to be in Seattle where the ground rarely freezes and good rain gear makes it possible to work outside all year long. So we do!